The Shallows Rhetorical Analysis

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The Shallows Rhetorical Analysis

In the book “The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr develops his argument just as an architect would construct a building. The foundation is laid then in tedious and eloquent manner, he begins an argument that defines the book. Shedding light upon the dangers our society may encounter through the internet, Carr uses personal anecdotes, parallels, ethic and reason based arguments, and disguises himself as an authoritative figure to execute a view changing book.

Exerting personal anecdotes on the way the internet has changed him; Carr begins his book in a subtle manner. He begins describing one of his first dilemma’s, “I had become trapped, not unhappily, in the “upgrade cycle” I retired the aging Plus in 1994, replacing it with…what seemed at the time a miraculously fast 33-megahertz processor.” A very compelling feeling to undergo, the “upgrade cycle” tempts customers to buy that next hot item on the list, always seeming to procure the most sophisticated technology. He goes on to promote more feelings, “The more I used it, the more it altered the way I worked”, to introduce one of the ways Carr has been transformed. (13) This early statement draws readers to begin questioning whether their actions have changed in response to the internet. The connection that occurs here is one that starts shifting the reader to a negative or pessimistic view on the internet. Carr then states, “I missed my old brain” which connotes there is something wrong with his ‘new brain’ and allows the readers to once again reflect. (16) Not only do these anecdotes serve the purpose of building a personal relationship, they make the readers susceptible to believing Carr’s statements because he is ‘just like you’. Turning from a style that is staunch and informal to informative, Carr begins to lay the foundation in the next chapters. Using parallels to show the effects previous technologies had on society, Carr infers we will see extensive changes from the...
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